There have been almost 2,200 home visits made by police officers in Canada to make sure that people are following self-isolation rules when they return to the country. Over one million people have returned to Canada since the pandemic began, according to CBC News.
These numbers follow hints by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that there may be new measures brought forward to track travellers as they cross the Canadian border when restrictions aren’t so strict.
The law requires that Canadian’s returning to the country self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms of coronavirus. The order has been in effect since late March.
People are required to fill out a contact tracing form upon arrival, which can be done on paper, on a mobile app or online. This makes it easier for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to enforce quarantine requirements.
If the Canada Border Services Agency suspects that someone returning to the country won’t follow the quarantine orders it will alert PHAC.
If the health agency requires assistance to enforce the act it contacts the national operations centre of the RCMP.
There have been 2,198 referrals passed to the RCMP by PHAC for “physical verification” of compliance with quarantine as of May 13. There were 705 conducted in Ontario alone according to Natalie Mohamed, a PHAC spokesperson.
PHAC notes that no arrests have been made under the Quarantine Act yet, though a fine of $1,000 was given to a Richmond, B.C. resident.
If you do not comply with the Quarantine Act there can be fines of up to $750,000 or even six months imprisonment. The penalties can increase to a $1 million fine, three years imprisonment or both if a person puts someone's life in jeopardy when purposely or recklessly disobeying the act.
An RCMP spokesperson said that they are only being asked to help PHAC after the agency runs checks by e-mail, phone or text.